A Bit Of Background
A crazy winter in Slatyfork,WV, but spring is finally here! That means Pocahontas Trails is back in trail work mode getting ready for our 5th annual WV Enduro Series Slatyfork Enduro August 11 (practice) and 12 (race). Whether you are a hard core racer or a casual rider trying to match your times against your cohorts this is the race for you. You get to ride and race some of the best of Slatyfork, many trails that have been part of a local MTB storied history Fat Tire Festival, Gauley Headwaters IMBA Epic Ride, Wild 100, and WVMBA Ultra Series.
During the early days of MTB the Slatyfork trails were in prime condition, then a few years of neglect followed by the last 5 or 6 years of restoration by Pocahontas Trails, the Forest Service and lots of volunteer hours. Mother Nature has not been easy on us, the 2012 Derecho, multiple heavy flooding events, rain, more rain, ice storms, more rain, more wind,… well you get the picture. The good news is that many hours of trail work have helped the trails weather all this well. Dead fall gets cleared quickly, erosion repaired and mitigated, trail corridors are brushed back and the overall trail tread maintained. That is the good news; the best news is that through all of this we have maintained the old school roots, rocks, single track experience, and still some of the classic Slatyfork mud.
Some past racer quotes: “This place is raw! So Good!” “I have raced most of the Enduros on the east coast, this is my favorite event, best course, best trails and best party.”
When: Saturday practice August 10, Race day Sunday the 11th.
The Ride: Here are some stats to peak your interest. Total course length: 22 miles, number of stages: 5 (we hope to add one more this year somewhere out on Turkey Point before stage 3. We will see if we can pull it off.) Shuttles – two this saves around 2000 feet of climbing, 4.5 miles of asphalt and gets you to the goods; total elevation gain: 3221 feet, total elevation loss 5710 feet.
Practice and More: Saturday practice runs with causal shuttles, Saturday evening dinner, fresh beverages (keg style), Sunday race meeting, race, awards, and dinner. Camping is free.
Overall Course Map
So, if you are thinking Enduro, why two shuttles? Well, to get both Tea Creek Mountain and Turkey Point Connector the only other option is grinding up asphalt – that just seems to take the fun out of it. Though there have always been a few hardy souls that do the grind just because… and that is still an option.
The race is Mid August, there is a high probability that we will be 10 to 15 degrees cooler than wherever you are, the hiking is great, vistas along the race course are world class. While you are here there is trout fishing, floating the Greenbrier River, Greenbrier River Trail, tours at the Green Bank Observatory, Snowshoe Bike Park, and much more.
Event Location: Staging area / primitive camping / late registration / race start / food and music all located on Mine Road in Slatyfork. GPS coordinates: 38.392696, -80.148513.
Pocahontas Trails was founded in 2013 to ensure the old school trails (lots of hand cut CCC trails, old rail and skid grades) of Pocahontas County were preserved. We were starting to lose single track to restoration using machines; the restoration was necessary, the technique is what we objected to. Since then we have a signed agreement with the Forest Service and have worked hard to coordinate trail work. This race is our primary fund raiser to help with purchasing tools, insurance, and local area promotion.
Locally there is strong community support for mountain biking. Leading the way is the Pocahontas County Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) which funds trail maintenance in the Monongahela National Forest and is active in promotion of mountain biking; next is Snowshoe Bike Park our primary race sponsor donating shuttle support, prizes and a generous cash donation, then The Snowshoe Foundation for support with equipment and then all local businesses support us with donations. Please check our web page for additional sponsors.
Think back to the ride here 8 to 10 years ago: dead fall everywhere, endless mud, brush so thick it would eat your bars. All a thing of the past, in spite of some major hits by Mother Nature our recovery after each event has been fast and focused.
So, come on, ride, race, relax, cheer the racers on, enjoy. Pocahontas County / Slatyfork / Snowshoe is the place to be. See you for practice and Race day.
Pocahontas Trails is an equal opportunity provider and employer.
Pocahontas Trails is a Permit Holder of the Monongahela National Forest